Join us live for Church Online in 60m 00s • Watch Now »

How to Read the Bible for Beginners

Many people want to make reading the Bible part of their daily life. But it can be overwhelming to figure out how to read the Bible for beginners.

Growing Faith
Share This Article

Many people want to make reading the Bible part of their daily life. But it can be overwhelming to figure out how to read the Bible for beginners (and even those who are more “experienced” with it). 

You might be bogged down by figuring out how to take time to read the Bible every day, or maybe you have trouble understanding some of the fancy words and phrases in it. Perhaps you’re not sure how much to read, or the best place to start. We're here to tell you that reading the Bible doesn’t need to be complicated – and with a simple approach, you’ll be reading and learning from it in no time! 

How to read the Bible for beginners 

The habit of reading the Bible can be broken down into three simple steps: read it, understand it, and apply it. 

Read it 

Step one is simple – start reading! But before you start reading the Bible from page one, here are a couple important things to consider: 

Which translation should I read? 

The Bible wasn't originally written in English. It's been translated from its original languages like Greek and Hebrew into English. But if you’ve ever put something into Google Translate, you know that not everything makes sense when it’s translated word-for-word. That’s why there are lots of different English translations to choose from!  

Any translation is a good translation, but the best translation to read is the one you will understand. Translations like the King James Version will use more old-fashioned words that you may not be used to reading or using in everyday conversation. The New Living Translation, on the other hand, is written in simple English while still prioritizing the main ideas and messages from the Bible’s original languages. 

You can find different translations on the YouVersion Bible App, and even look at side-by-side comparisons between translations! 

Which part of the Bible should I read first? 

The Bible isn't like a regular book where you start at the beginning. Most Christians start reading in the New Testament, the second part of the Bible that tells the story of Jesus. For more help on where to start, check out this article: What Is the Best Order to Read the Bible for the First Time

When and where will I read the Bible each day? 

You can start a new habit anytime, but starting a habit that sticks takes some intentionality. Here are some things you can do to make Bible reading a sustainable habit that you can continue for a long time: 

  • Find the right time. Lots of people choose to read the Bible first thing in the morning or right before bed. (But if you’re still groggy or having trouble keeping your eyes open, that might not be the best choice!) Experiment with different times of day and plan out a 30-minute window to read your Bible and pray. If it doesn’t work well with your schedule and routine, change it and stick with the time that works.
  • Find the right place. Distractions can be hard to avoid at times, especially if you have a busy house or young kids who need your attention. Think about places where you’re the least likely to be interrupted and choose one of those for your daily reading. (You may benefit from listening to the Bible in the car instead – which you can do on the YouVersion app!)
  • Choose your starting point. Because the Bible is a collection of books, you don’t need to start right at page one. Here’s a deeper look at where to start reading the Bible

Understand it 

The Bible is meant to help you grow in your relationship with God and others. It’s not supposed to be confusing! In addition to choosing a translation that you’ll be able to comprehend as you read, here are some other things you can do to understand the Bible better: 

  • Check out books about the Bible. There are lots of books out there that can help you make sense of the Bible and give you a deeper understanding of what you’re reading. Books can also give you helpful historical and cultural context to what you read.
  • Listen to podcasts. Similarly, listening to podcasts that discuss the Bible can help you make better sense of the Bible and understand it on a deeper level. 

Check out our resource guide for book and podcast recommendations, plus so much more! 

Apply it 

Reading the Bible is only the beginning – to grow closer with God and be transformed by him, we need to also do what the Bible says. (It even says so in the Bible! James 1:22 tells us, “But don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves.”) 

The Bible isn't just a book of facts; it’s full of wisdom for living today. A Bible Reading Plan can help to break down certain passages of the Bible and relate them to different topics and everyday experiences.  

Give yourself time 

Good things take effort. Making Bible reading a daily habit takes time. You might start strong, but like any routine you'll probably miss a few days. Don’t worry—just start again. God cares more about spending time with you than about you being perfect.  

Millions of Christians have found that regular Bible reading can change their lives. With prayer and time, you’ll see how God's words can have a profound impact on you too! 


Check out our full resource guide for books, podcasts, reading plans, and more to help you build a Bible reading habit! 


LCBC stands for Lives Changed By Christ. We are one church in multiple locations across Pennsylvania. Find the location closest to you or join us for Church Online. We can’t wait to connect with you!

Share This Article

More Growing Faith Related Content

What is Communion & Why Would You Do it?
What's the big deal with Christians eating pieces of bread and drinking cups of wine or juice? What is communion & why would you do it?
Why Baptism Weekend is the Best Time to Invite Someone to Church
Check out three reasons why Baptism Weekend is one of the best times to invite someone with you to church.
What Does Baptism Have to Teach Us About Being Remarkable?
The stories we hear during Baptism are remarkable. But the steps that led to each person being baptized are just as remarkable.
7 Ways to Grow in Your Faith
No matter where we are on our faith journey, we all have next steps.
5 Minutes a Day Can Change Your Life
Being intentional about our time with God strengthens our relationship with him